Over at The Star Online Rahmah Ghazali has written a great review of Comet in Our Sky published by SIRD & Pusat Sejarah Rakyat and our launch event held at Rumah Gerakbudaya. As Rahmah argues,
The modern Singapore is a success story with growing economy, high education standards and its status as a global financial capital.
However, it could have been a bit different as there are hidden stories that are lost in the midst of time.
Since Singapore pulled out from Malaysia 50 years ago today to become an independent, the dominant figure then was undoubtedly the late Lee Kuan Yew.
Despite his vast contributions to the republic, one of the criticisms that could be levelled against him is that he was unduly intolerant of differing viewpoints.
One name that has faded away is Lim Chin Siong, a prominent left-wing leader of Barisan Sosialis in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s. He died of a heart attack in 1996.
Lim, who co-founded the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 1954 with Lee, was eliminated from the political scene during the notorious Operation Coldstore, which he was detained without trial twice under the Internal Security Act.
To revisit his struggle, Lim’s story was told in a book titled Comet in Our Sky: Lim Chin Siong in History.
As Rahmah notes, for many of the contributors to Comet in Our Sky the importance of remembering Lim Chin Siong lies in exposing the murky history which has contributed to the creation of Singapore’s economic miracle, and to expose the different possibilities that lay open in Singapores development, which could have offered a more socially just and democratic alternative. Thus as Teo Soh Lung argued at the books launch
Today is the most appropriate day to launch this book because Lim Chin Siong is a leader who could have made Singapore an interesting and vibrant country and as economically successful as Singapore is today.
The full article is available to read here.